STONE SQUEEZE THROUGH INTO NEXT FA CUP ROUND
WEALDSTONE OVERCOME STUBBORN ROVERS TO PROGRESS IN FA CUP
WEALDSTONE progressed into the third qualifying round of the FA Cup after a stuttering start to their second qualifying round tie against a stubborn Great Wakering Rovers.
Second-half goals from Fumnaya Shomotun and Connor Stevens saw Bobby Wilkinson’s side through, but they had to be patient against a battling visiting side.
In an awkward first-half played out in driving rain, Stones found it frustratingly hard to break down Rovers, who unsurprisingly defended in depth and continually caught the home side’s forwards offside.
Both sides still had chances to take lead, however sloppy play and poor final balls meant that several good opportunities went begging in both goalmouths.
In fact Stones could have taken the lead within a minute of the first whistle through Wadah Ahmidi, but Rovers weathered a difficult patch when under pressure and almost grabbed a goal on the counter when Brandy Mokeni broke free and drew a fine save from Jon North on 23 minutes. That was after Wakering had struck the upright after some wayward defending from the home side providing a sharp wake up call.
Five minutes later Stones were awarded a clear spot-kick when Bradley Bubb was bundled over by keeper Coey Turipa.
Typical of the poor finishing of the half, Stefan Brown’s penalty was comfortably saved.
Worryingly for Wealdstone, Bubb went down injured just after the half-hour mark and hobbled off, replaced by Jeffrey Monakana.
The second-half saw far more determination and attacking threat from Wealdstone as they pressed forward with more conviction as Rovers were penned back in their own half.
Rovers attempted to slow the pace down with time-wasting tactics to hang on to a draw, but as they came under increasing pressure, more space started to open up for the hosts.
Stones finally made the breakthrough on 66 minutes with a smart piece of finishing from Shomotun with a strike just outside the area and there seemed to be no way back for Rovers from that point on.
Wealdstone then created chance after chance but wrapped the tie up with 10 minutes left on the clock when Stevens headed powerfully home from a corner. The ball was kicked out of the goal by a defender, but the referee’s assistant had no hesitation in flagging that the ball was well over the line.
Despite almost total possession and numerous late chances, Stones could not make the score line more emphatic.
Connor Stevens’ header goes over the line for the second goal